Written by: The Talkwalker Team

Your customer matters more than ever in 2021. Luckily for you, you’re sitting on a wealth of data and research that’s just waiting to unlock the secrets to your customer conversation strategy. A winning strategy for customer conversations can drive brand and business success through increased loyalty, engagement and satisfaction.

Humanize Customer Engagement to Optimize CX

The customer experience today is filled with endless choices, and savvy consumers are wary of falling into the next brand’s marketing funnel. When a customer does opt-in, today that means the brand is obligated to provide useful information and content in exchange for their personal data.

Consider each piece of customer engagement a little nugget of value, from which you can extract deep insights (cumulatively, of course), and a little piece of the customer conversation puzzle, which should be reciprocated by the brand to further the process.

When a customer takes their time to speak to your brand, they are engaging with your brand. The onus is on the brand to make the time spent there rewarding. 82% of industry professionals say that the pandemic has changed their understanding of consumer conversations.

No one wants to speak to a robot. Even if you sell complex systems, you sell them to people. Optimizing the customer experience to be focused around the humans involved will lead to massive transformations on an organizational level.

Digital Transformation Drives the Shift to the “Next Normal”

It’s already underway, as brands seek to make sense of the next normal before them. 44% of brands believe that their organization is extremely data driven, which means that over half don’t.

Many brands learned, in the spring of 2020, that the data they had collected up until that point was largely rendered obsolete. In the “new normal” historical benchmarks were thrown out the window, while some industries suffered greatly and cottage industries soared.

All that was left to rely on in the new normal was organizational processes around data collection that were put in place before the pandemic. As shutdowns shift to re-openings, brands will again be forced to recalculate their benchmarks in order to make the most of the return of full society.

Reduce Insight Production Time to Stay Ahead of Consumer Demand

The speed at which insights are produced, approved, and digested at an organizational level needs to increase. Consumer demand, opinion of the brand, priorities, and so many other things can turn on a dime. Brands must remain nimble in the face of these shifting demands.

The best way to do that is to break down the data silos that exist between departments. That means customer success teams have access to the insights being produced by the marketing team, or the sales team.

Institutional memory is a finicky thing, and it shifts with staff turnover. It’s also immeasurable.

Speeding insight production and the sharing of those insights helps create institutional memory faster and across more departments. That in turn has benefits for staff training, best practices, and replicating successes from one section of the business in another.

The Customer Calls the Shots – Now More Than Ever

All of this is leading to one reality. The customer calls the shots, and if they are unhappy, if they dislike some part of the experience, they will make you aware. They will make their friends aware. Here’s where:

The Voice of the Customer shines through on social, and in reviews. It lives in hobbyist blogs, and digital communities. Take precious note when the customer takes the time to phone your call centers, hear their voice unvarnished.

Of course the Voice of the Customer is also partially the voice of the public, and PR still has a role to play here. Ensure your brand’s coverage is filled with glowing reviews of customer success by ensuring the Voice of the Customer is a top priority for your organization. Seek it out and give your customers what they want.

The way to do that is through conversational intelligence. A product, derived from social listening, but fed from owned research and multiple other data sources, designed to give analysts and executives the 360º view of their brand they need. The analysts refine and produce this intelligence. The executives ingest and disseminate it.

It works best when the data lake is well sourced, the process well defined, the executives know how to ask the right questions, and the team is well equipped to answer and share their knowledge. It means being data driven as an organization.

In Sum

For more information about conversational intelligence and the role it can play in catalyzing market research, visit Talkwalker online. Also be sure to check out this conversation with Fuel Cycle and Talkwalker, which aligns the major takeaways from the 2021 State of Market Research report and 2021 State of Conversations report.